PDF | The study of linguistic imperialism entails analyzing the policies by which dominant Robert Phillipson at Copenhagen Business School. Page 1. Phillipson, Robert ()”Linguistic imperialism and linguicism,” Linguistic Imperialism. Oxford: OUP, pp. Page 2. Page 3. Page 4. Crystal and Phillipson discuss the subject of World English in quite different ways . When first considering the books it seems as if the primary topic is the same.
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2, Review Essay (Re)experiencing hegemony: the linguistic imperialism of Robert Phillipson MARGIE BERNS,JEANELLE BARRETT, CHAKCHAN. achieve its imperialistic strategies. Phillipson ( 47) holds that the legitimization of. English linguistic expansion has been based on two notions. Abstract: A summary of the book Linguistic Imperialism, by Phillipson ()2 is maltmagecapski.ga
With the background and framework described, chapters 5 and 6 begin the analysis. Phillipson turns to past and present colonial language practices, as well as policies and activities of Britain and the USA in promoting Enghsh world-wide.
The analysis continues in chapters 7 and 8 with the focus on Enghsh language teaching. In chapters 9 and 10 the author shifts to an investigation of various arguments used to promote Enghsh and how they relate to a theory of power.
The case of an official language for Namibia, a country in which Phillipson has been politically active on behalf of SWAPO, illustrates this relationship. The final chapter provides a summary and identifies areas for further research and study with respect to English language teaching and linguistic imperialism.
In class she gave moving accounts of the influ- ence of British colonizers and their imposition of English in her home country.
At first, she became frustrated with the rest of us for focusing on how he was delivering his message rather than attending to the content. In a reaction paper, she developed the following analogy to express her feelings: You have a case and a lawyer with the background and experience to handle it. Although the trial begins well, you eventually come to feel hopeless and helpless as you watch your lawyer lose the case because of over-confidence, a style of argument that offends everyone in the courtroom, violation of courtroom procedures, and lack of convincing and relevant evidence.
To make matters worse, not only do yon lose this session in court, but you have no second chance, no right to appeal.
The verdict has been delivered and the case closed. We found this analogy apt for a variety of reasons and organized our reactions around them under these categories: rhetorical choices in authorial voice, authority and audience; solutions to problems described and directions for change; and the nature of hegemony. However, from the very first chapter these issues did not command our attention. These initial discussions and responses touched on matters of claims and credibility, style and tone, and terminology and coverage.
We spent con- siderable time sorting through our negative reactions and trying to understand why even those among us most likely to be in sympathy with his position were offended by his tone and as a result distracted from the story he wanted to tell.
Those of us from Brazil and Greece, in particular, found Third World outdated as well as pejorative. We were also uncomfortable with the characterization of periphery countries, i. As our Japanese classmate pointed out, Japan, with its gross national product second only to the United States, can hardly be considered poor or dominated. Reliance on opinion, innuendo, and generalization rather than substantiat- ed claims and details also proved troublesome.
It seemed to us that the author was more concerned with imposing his views, which we were to accept on faith and not on the basis of evidence that would allow us to draw our own conclu- sions.
For instance, when identities of sources were not given, we were left to guess who or what they might be, e. While he is not explicit on this point, we assume he is speaking of Great Britain, since we know from our own experience this is not the case for the United States.
Was Phillipson making a statement here about the domain of linguis- tics and its relation to sociolinguistics? Or about the credentials required to write about the sociology of language, which we were to infer Wardhaugh lacked, and as a consequence he could not be considered qualified to study the same phenomena that Phillipson was investigating?
When evidence for claims was offered, it often struck us as incomplete or misleading. For example, on p.
Unfortunately, the meaning of the table is obscured by missing information. From our backgrounds in research design we know that statistics can be powerful evidence in making a case when used appropriately.
Phillipson, in a description of multilingualism on p. Since then, there have been large numbers of Asian and Latin American immigrants. According to the cen- sus, more than 23 million Americans spoke languages other than English in their homes King and Vallejo Yet this cause-effect relationship was not transparent to us in spite of our willingness to be introspective about our responsibilities as language teachers.
Phillipson seemed to be asserting here that the language and the privilege its speakers enjoy are the sole cause of such socio-economic complications. This reasoning struck us as fair neither to the language itself, which is incapable of the agency and intentionality implied, nor to the people involved in its spread, the users of English whose intentional- ity is presumed.
In either case, making an accusation against English is not the same as offering an argument. It is merely an accusation, nothing more, and as such only diminishes the importance of the issue at hand and ultimately per- forms a disservice to those whose cause is championed. At this point, many of us felt particularly manipulated and used; by delaying acknowl- edgment of this possibility to the very end he had withheld an important consid- eration from us.
If any credibility or authority remained, it was considerably eroded at this point. Whatever his motives were for what we perceived as a serious lack of aware- ness of audience or respect for appropriate rhetorical strategies, it would appear that Phillipson was not as consistently cognizant of his own politics as he presumed to be of ours.
It seems he failed to consider that ELT was his audience, and that since it was an academic one as well, we would therefore he savvy to his confrontational style and language and could deflect this with our own evidence to the obverse.
Furthermore, he seemed to assume that we were unaware of the rhetorical tactics used in other radical causes. Namibia or Brazil. We were fortunate that the seminar had representatives from both groups and that those among us from the periphery were willing to share first-hand experiences with and observations of the alleged linguistic hegemony of English in their home countries. We found it enlightening to get views from representatives of the margins, rather than simply have Phillipson tell us about the margins.
These voices, then, added depth to the arguments Phillipson presented, both those he refuted and promoted. For Phillipson, the situation she describes and represents would be a classic case of hegemony: the colonized, the oppressed - in this case Singaporeans - in accepting the learn- ing and use of English are victims of hegemony from English.
This account is excerpted from a reaction paper written mid-way through our reading of Linguistic Imperialism: English in Singapore has fulfilled a number of conflicting roles simultaneously. However, given the present status of English as an international language and the privileges that attach to it, I feel that former British colonies are fortunate to a cer- tain extent, for, if it had not been for colonization, they might never have achieved the proficiency and competence in the language they now have.
Pennycook readily accepts that centre countries have promoted English to their own ends in order to protect and promote capitalist interests Pennycook, , p. For Pennycook all education is essentially political and schools are cultural and political arenas where different cultural, ideological social forms are constantly in struggle.
Pennycook , p. For Pennycook it is essential that learners have access to a standard form on English in order that they have access to those forms of the language that are of particular significance in significant discourses. Pennycook, In a similar vein to Kachru, Canagarajah sees English as becoming pluralized and varied with standard English being infused with diverse Page 16 English in Diverse world contexts alternate grammars and conventions in order to take ideological resistance into the very heart of English.
By taking the language and making it their own language learners can reposition themselves to use English not as slaves, but as agents; to use English not mechanically and diffidently, but creatively and critically ibid p.
Conclusion Whatever ones opinion about Linguistic Imperialism it is now accepted that it opened up debate about the socio-linguistic and ethical impact of the spread of English. As Henry Widdowson and others have pointed out Phillipsons work initiated debate and even those who opposed his views felt obliged to look more critically into the issues it raised in such a provocative fashion. Widdowson, , p. Holborrow, , p.
Phillipson himself now focuses almost solely on issues of linguistic human rights, moving his focus from the former colonial empire to the EU and away from the broader debates being pursued by the likes of Pennycook and Canagarajah. It is tempting to suggest that Phillipsons main interest in English now is in attempting to minimise its use.
Another outcome of Phillipsons work has been to raise awareness of the importance of the role and agency of speakers from the periphery in the development of English. Phillipsons insistence on the hegemony of English ultimately stripped them of agency and, in a sense it was a backlash against Phillipson by Canagarajah and others that led to a far greater acceptance of the role of non-native speakers and teachers in forming the future of English. In contemporary debates, speakers of World Englishes are no longer portrayed as helpless and passive victims of some international conspiracy of linguistic imperialism but active participants who use English for their own ends, and in the process actively contribute to the development and spread of World Englishes.
Hung, , p. Rajagopalan, p. Rather than seeing it as a subject sealed off from the world, whose focus is on the best and most expedient way of acquiring a language; ELT practitioners can now look to develop a linguistics that treats human agency, contextuality, diversity, indeterminacy, and multimodality as the norm. Canagarajah, , p. Pennycook, Bibliography Brutt - Griffler, J. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Canagarajah, S. ELT Journal 53 3 Page 19 English in Diverse world contexts Canagarajah, S.
Crystal, D. Crystal, D Review. Davies, A. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 17 6 , Graddol, D. London: The British Council. Holborrow, M. Oxford a. Kachru, B.
Amsterdam: Rodopi Pennycook, A. Page 20 English in Diverse world contexts Pennycook, A.
In Handbook of world Englishes ed. Kirkpatrick, Routledge Phillipson, R.
Oxford : Oxford University Press. A Rejoinder to a Review Essay". Phillipson, R. For Phillipson the ELT industry and ELT pedagogy are not innocent bystanders in the rise of English language hegemony but are complicit in a neo-colonial agenda that he sees as driving English to its current position. He contends that the popular view of the spread of English as an incontrovertible boon is misplaced and that the discourse that currently ties learning English to progress and prosperity is in fact Page 1 English in Diverse world contexts scientifically fallacious ibid p.
While accepting that English is no longer imposed by force as it was in colonial times he is deeply suspicious of the popular view that the demand for English is governed by such benign forces as the state of the market demand and force of argument rational planning in light of the facts.
English serves to consolidate the interests of the powerful globally and locally and to maintain an imbalanced exploitative world order, to disenfranchise speakers of other languages.
Page 2 English in Diverse world contexts 1. Canagarajah, p. A practical example of linguicism given by Phillipson would be the allocation of resources or materials to one rather than another language or when a priority is given to one language for teacher training, curriculum development or school timetabling.
According to Phillipson linguicism refers exclusively to ideologies and structures where language is the means for effecting or maintaining an unequal allocation of power and resources. Phillipson follows Galtungs theory of cultural imperialism dividing the world into a centre, core English speaking countries, and its peripheries where English is either a second or international link language , p. Phillipson argues that this relationship is essentially one of structural and systemic inequality, in which the political and economic hegemony of Western Anglophone powers is established or maintained over scores of developing nations.
Kachru et al The handbook of world Englishes, p. These fallacies, as they are referred to by Phillipson are: The monolingual fallacy: that English is best taught without reference to the learners native language The native speaker fallacy: that the best teacher is a speaker from one of the centre countries Particular opprobrium is reserved for the British Council Page 4 English in Diverse world contexts The early start fallacy: that the earlier a language is learnt the better it is mastered The maximum exposure fallacy: the more English one comes into contact with the better it is learnt The subtractive fallacy: the less a student speaks other languages the better their English will become These fallacies are a part of what Phillipson terms the professionalism and anglocentricity of ELT, which he sees as legitimating methods, techniques and procedures which are in the interests of the centre nations but which may be neither appropriate for, nor in the interest of the periphery.
According to Phillipson the ELT industry is at fault for believing that the accepted methods, techniques and procedures of current thinking are enough to understand the complexities of language learning and for failing to critically analyse certain unsound foundations that underpin it.
For Phillipson ELT professionalism excludes broader societal issues, the prerequisites and consequences of ELT activity, from its professional purview. By promoting these myths ELT helps to legitimate the dominance of English by rationalising activities and beliefs which contribute to the structural and cultural inequalities between English and other languages.
This rationalising of beliefs raises a serious concern with Phillipsons argument since it leads very quickly to the conclusion that it is impossible for any outer or developing circle writer to actually challenge his assertion that the spread of English is inherently pernicious.
Page 5 English in Diverse world contexts 1. The belief that learning English represents a free choice in periphery countries, driven by market demand, is in fact merely another demonstration of the hegemonic nature of the language and further proof of the neo-imperialist nature of English language dominance. While he accepts that arguments for the neutral or non-political nature of English language teaching may seem intuitively commonsensical this, he believes, is only in the Gramscian sense of being based on beliefs which reflect the dominant ideology.
Hegemonic ideas tend to be internalized by the dominated, even though they are not objectively in their interest. Bisong p. Phillipson refers to Raymond Williams definition of hegemony as a set of meanings and values which as they are experienced as practices appear as reciprocally confirming. As such Bisongs claim to a freedom of choice is, for Phillipson no such thing but rather a manifestation of the dangerous control English and ELT has taken over the minds of the dominated. The pre-eminence of English is legitimated as being a common sense social fact, thus concealing whose interests are being served by the dominant ideology and dominant professional practice.
As a result he has often been accused of dismissing the role of periphery nations and even of peddling his own imperialist agenda. Whatever side he takes ultimately Phillipson can only adopt the perspective of the centre2 and, aside from accusations that he suffers from postcolonial guilt see Rajagopalan it is difficult for him to counter the accusation that his arguments are inherently patronising.
According to Brutt-Griffler, the conceptual lens of linguistic imperialism obscures the role of Africans, Asians and other peoples of the world as active agents in the process of creation of world English. Brutt-Griffler p. Hellinger , p. Certainly it is difficult for Phillipson to deny and at times he seems uncomfortably aware that his work by necessity stems from the same competitive, Phillipson himself points out that There is a sense in which we are inescapably committed to the ethnocentricity of our own world view, however much insight and understanding we have of other cultures.
Phillipson, p. It is not entirely clear though that Phillipson accepts that his view can only ever be that of an Oxford educated, white male from a former colonial power, with all the emotional and intellectual baggage that accompanies this.
Page 7 English in Diverse world contexts progress oriented western paradigm that portrays indigenous people as weak, helpless, disadvantaged, exploited and indigenous Hellinger, p. Criticisms of Phillipson 2. Suresh Canagarajah takes issue with Phillipsons remoteness, claiming his perspective is too impersonal and global Adopting a more micro-societal perspective would, according to Canagarajah, not only allow Phillipson to take account of the lived culture and everyday experience of periphery communities [but would] also help qualify some of his claims.
While these criticisms may have some justification they miss-place what Phillipson is trying to achieve, which as Phillipson clearly states at the beginning of Linguistic Imperialism is to situate ELT in a macro-societal theoretical perspective Phillipson p. My italics p.
However, Canagarajahs criticisms do point to the sweeping way in which Phillipson considers all learners in periphery countries as essentially the same which, if he is to deny them their own voice, is a dangerous thing to do. Brutt-Griffler in World Englishes takes issue with whether linguistic imperialism is even a useful concept, contesting that: for linguistic imperialism to be a consistent explanatory framework, English must have developed as the product of a conscious policy developed and put into effect during the colonial epoch.
Brutt-Griffler points to the paucity of historical and empirical evidence provided by Phillipson and concludes that rather than a detailed empirical study of the question Phillipson tries to substantiate the requisites of a linguistic imperialist policy through repeated assertion of their presence ibid.
Berns et al p.